What Does India Hold for Google’s Tez/Google Pay?


Sep. 3 2018, Updated 7:32 a.m. ET

A trillion-dollar opportunity

Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google is expanding in India’s digital payments market by adding credit services to its localized Tez mobile payment platform. For the purpose of rolling out Tez to other countries, Google has rebranded the service Google Pay.

Google has partnered with Indian banks such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and Kotak Mahindra Bank to extend loans to Tez users. What’s the opportunity for Google in India as it expands Tez throughout the country? Credit Suisse predicts that India’s digital payments market could be worth $1.0 trillion by 2023, compared to its current level of ~$200.0 billion. India presents an enormous opportunity for Google’s localized payment platform.

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Facebook pursuing the Indian opportunity

However, Google isn’t the only company attracted to India’s digital payments market. Facebook (FB) is also chasing a slice of this market, as it’s testing a mobile payment service in India based on its messaging app, WhatsApp. PayPal (PYPL) has also launched domestic operations in India to expand and accelerate its penetration in the country to capitalize on the rise of digital payments.

Flipkart, the Indian e-commerce company in which Walmart (WMT) recently bought a majority stake, is also a player in the country’s digital payments market. Its Flipkart PhonePe mobile payment service has attracted about 133.0 million users, which is measured by app downloads.

Berkshire Hathaway invests in Paytm parent

Paytm, India’s leading mobile payment service, has accumulated more than 150.0 million app downloads. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) recently acquired a stake in the Paytm parent, giving a reputational boost to the service. The Nebraska-based conglomerate recently partnered with Amazon (AMZN) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) on an insurance program for their US employees.


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